Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium

April 2, 2020

Graduate students from around the world present scholarly work on a host of questions and topics related to 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate, Michael Rakowitz.

The annual Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium offers master’s and doctoral students from any academic discipline the opportunity to present scholarly work on a host of questions and topics related to each year’s new Laureate. Submissions should address themes related to the work of the 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz. This year’s symposium will be moderated by Dr. Nada Shabout of University of North Texas, founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey.

Addressing a broad audience of art historians and museum professionals, participants will receive feedback from fellow presenters, an invited keynote speaker, and audience members. Students selected to present papers will also have their work published in the annual symposium compendium, together with the paper delivered by the keynote speaker Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. 

About Michael Rakowitz, 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate
Michael Rakowitz was born in 1973 in Great Neck, New York; he lives and works in Chicago, Illinois and is professor of art theory and practice at Northwestern University. He studied at Purchase College, State University of New York, where he received a BFA in 1995 and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, graduating with a Master of Science in Visual Studies in 1998. His recent retrospective opened at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in 2019, traveling to Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino and, in 2020 is scheduled to open at the Jameel Art Centre, Dubai. It was preceded by Backstroke of the West, a survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 2018.

He has exhibited in venues including dOCUMENTA(13), The Museum of Modern Art, New York; MoMA/PS1, New York; Tate Modern, London; MassMOCA; Castello di Rivoli; the 10th and 14th Istanbul Biennials; the Sharjah Biennials 8 and 14 ; the Tirana Biennale; and Transmediale 05.

Read more about 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz.

About Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, keynote speaker
Curator, researcher and scholar Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (1957, Ridgewood, New Jersey) is director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and of the affiliated Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti. She holds a visiting professorship at Northwestern University, and has taught at the University of Leeds, at the Goethe Universität Frankfurt Am Main and at Harvard University. Christov-Bakargiev was born in the United States from a Bulgarian father and an Italian mother and she returned to Italy to conduct her studies in Literature and Philosophy at the universities of Genoa and Pisa. She began her career in the arts writing reviews for the magazine Reporter and for the newspaper IlSole24Ore. Friendships with artists in Italy and internationally, including William Kentridge, Alighiero Boetti, Pierre Huyghe, Francis Alÿs, Mario and Marisa Merz, and Jannis Kounellis, propelled her curatorial work. Following a period at Villa Medici where she curated summer exhibitions (1998-2000), she served as Senior Curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center affiliated to MoMA in New York (1999-2001). Amongst many other projects, at PS1 she organized the groundbreaking survey of Janet Cardiff’s work. In 2002 she returned to Turin to work at Castello di Rivoli as Chief Curator upon invitation of its former director Ida Gianelli. In 2008 she curated the 16th Sydney Biennial, followed by dOCUMENTA(13) in 2012, and the 14th Istanbul Biennial in 2015. The following year she returned to Turin where, until 2017, she directed both GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea and Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea. Amongst her major publications is the monograph Arte Povera (London, Phaidon Press, 1999).

About Nada Shabout, moderator
Nada Shabout is a Professor of Art History and the Coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, U.S.A. She is the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey. Shabout is the Project Advisor for the Saudi National Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019. She is the author of Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics, University of Florida Press, 2007; co-editor with Salwa Mikdadi of New Vision: Arab Art in the 21st Century, Thames & Hudson, 2009; and co-editor with Anneka Lenssen and Sarah Rogers of Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018.

Shabout was the curator of Sajjil: A Century of Modern ArtInterventions: A dialogue between the Modern and the Contemporary, 2010; co-curator of Modernism and Iraq, Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, 2009, and curator of the traveling exhibition, Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art, 2005-2009. Her awards include: Writers Grant, Andy Warhol Foundation 2018; The Presidential Excellency Award, UNT 2018; The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq fellow 2006, 2007; MIT visiting Assistant Professor, spring 2008, and Fulbright Senior Scholar Program, 2008 Lecture/Research fellowship to Jordan.

Marguerite Hoffman and Thomas Lentz, Elizabeth Redleaf, Alan and Adrian Sada, Albertina Cisneros and Juan Pascual, and Lisa Dawson and Thomas Murstad are the Graduate Symposium Sponsors of the Nasher Prize.

The Donna Wilhelm Family Fund is the Education and Community Sponsor of Nasher Prize.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is the public transportation partner for Nasher Prize Month.
KERA's Art & Seek and PaperCity are the Media Partners of the Nasher Prize. 

DART to Nasher Prize Month – Take DART Rail (any line) to Pearl / Arts District Station or St. Paul Station and walk 3 blocks North to Flora Street.  For more information or schedules, please visit

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
Join Our Newsletter